Thursday night when I left for my run I waited for the showers to stop, I checked the weather forecast, and I seemed to be in the clear for over an hour. Instead, it started raining about 1/4 mile into my run. It was just a sprinkle and I said to myself, “there is no way you’re turning around for this.” Well another 1/4 mile later it was pouring, I was completely soaked, and this time I told myself, “why turn around now? You’ve made it this far. Keep going.” So I did, I kept going until my socks and shoes filled with water and were closing in on my feet until I lost enough feeling I decided I was going to hurt myself if I kept going any longer.
I used to love running in the rain, after that I can say to some degree I still do. I would have loved it more if I had been mentally prepared but that’s besides the point. We are constantly changing and evolving whether we realize it or not. The things we enjoyed last year are not necessarily the same things we enjoy this year. This isn’t a need to get discouraged, it just means we need to find something new to fit our new styles.
A few weeks ago I was talking (quietly) about what would happen if I left graduate school. In the days since, I have both furthered talking myself into it and talked myself away from it. In the end, I realized some of the decisions I made in undergrad were not the best. Don’t get me wrong, they were necessary to get me here. I don’t know if getting here would have been as straightforward without the choices I made. However, I could have made others that would have made staying here easier.
No matter how hard it is, I can’t just pick up and leave. I physically can, but what would I be doing to my future? What future would I have if I left? I have a degree with plenty of job opportunities, I could find something I’m sure. But how happy would I be? How far from my dreams would that put me? How long would I be distanced from them? No, I cannot quit.
Besides all that, I am a black female pursuing an advanced degree in engineering. What message am I sending to the next generation I want to offer encouragement for if I quit? The wrong message. No, quitting is not an option. It doesn’t matter what the reason is to stay in the game but you have to stay in the game. The game doesn’t end when you quit. You’re leaving your teammates behind, on the field, to clean up what you left them. With one less person, one less mind and body to accomplish the team’s goals. Do you want to be that person? I don’t.